Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All! Jingle them bells!

Holiday Greetings to All.
Merry Christmas!

This is from the blog of a friend. He created/animated/did it all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Bells...

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play,And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,The world revolved from night to day, a voice, a chime; a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;"There is no peace on earth," I said;"For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead; nor doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

This is one of my favorite Christmas hymns.

For me Christmas is a time to reflect on the past year, what has transpired and what I have been blessed with. I have been blessed with so much…I have a loving wife, three great kids and a home. What more can I ask for? But I also have a job that allows me to have a house and doesn’t take me away from my family too much.

I have a great extended family my in-laws are wonderful and my dad could be the biggest Boise State fan since…Me! My family is so important to me…and knowing that we can always be together makes me feel so fortunate.

I am also thankful for the reason we celebrate this time of year; the birth of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and He is the author of our salvation. He gave the ultimate gift to all of us. Hig gospel is true and He blesses us daily with His love. This season where we celebrate the birth of the Savior helps to bring out the best in everyone. "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Listening Party!!!

Today I am going to write about one of my favorite Christmas CDs, Crescent City Christmas Card from Wynton Marsalis. It is New Orleans Jazz from one of the most famous New Orleans jazz musicians.

A little background. While I was in high school (early nineties) I worked for my uncle Danny in his band instrument repair shop; "Peterson Band Instrument Repair". His shop was located on Jefferson near State Street in Boise (So I was a commuter before commuting was cool). I worked on Saturdays during the school year and a few days a week in the summer. When I worked with him we would listen to CDs or tapes that he had. Usually the music would be jazz Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Synthesis (the BYU Jazz ensemble), even Sting. Some of my music taste and eclecticness is owed to Uncle Danny. He introduced me to many different types of music and groups. He also taught me that it was OK to be eclectic.

For Christmas on year he gave me Crescent City Christmas Card by Wynton Marsalis. I already owned a couple of other cassettes of Wynton Marsalis. This was a great addition. It is a Jazz CD, but Christmas. Sometimes people are leery of listening to new music because they don't know the songs. Well, these are all songs that most everyone should be familiar with. To me it still sounds as fresh and new today as it did in 1990. So go out on a limb, take a chance and give it a listen. You can get the MP3 tracks from and you can listen to a preview there as well.

---You can sample a song Here: Let it Snow

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heading home..

Day Eight (12/06/08)
Night in Provo Marriott

We booked rooms on Priceline for a night in Provo so we wouldn’t have to drive all the way through in one day. We had a nice dinner at a gas station in Vegas. We arrived about 10:30 PM –ish. We got three rooms for the same great rate.

Day Nine (12/07/08)
Finally Home

Got up. Took the kids swimming in the heated indoor pool. Checked out of the hotel. Had breakfast at Denny’s in Provo. Headed home. After a slight delay at IKEA we were on the road and headed north. Landed back in Nampa about 6:30 PM. What a great trip we had. Memories to last a lifetime.

Thoughts on the Trip

It was a great time had by all. The driving is never fun, but worth it in the end. Seeing Dylan and Karen was great. They have a lovely home. The stop there brought back many memories of Tammy and me hanging out with them in Nampa and when we lived in Boise State housing. Playing games together and staying up until all hours of the night. That didn’t happen this time, but just as fun. I even noticed that they were listening to the Christmas music CD that Tammy and I gave to our friends and Family when we were a smaller family of three in 2001.

Once when we were in Disneyland I almost shed tears. Gabe and I were waiting in line for a ride and he said “Dad, this is the best day of my life”. I know that he had many experiences there and will have many more in his life, but it meant a lot to me that this family vacation will be one that he (and all of us) remembers forever.

From California & Disneyland Dec 2008

“When you wish upon a star…your dreams come true.” -Jiminy Cricket

Welcome to the Magic kingdom

We spent four days in the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure. It was lot of fun. Here is a slide show with some highlights.

Stompin' Grounds

Day Three (12/01/08)
Free Day

Monday was our “free day”. Our tickets for Disneyland were not valid until Tuesday so it was a free for all, at least for us to go our own directions. There three families in our group, but only two cars. So Cort, Emily, O’Dell and the boys went to Carpentaria, CA to visit Cort’s friend Burdean and Tammy, Chris, Clark, Carley, Gabe, Selah, and Reece went down to Oceanside, CA to see the ocean and where I served my mission. Then we were to meet in Simi Valley, CA at the home of Dad’s cousin Rita at 6:00 PM.

We first went to the Disney Character Warehouse in Fullerton, CA. Where you can get Disney resort items for a large discount over what they charge in the park. They had all kinds of stuff; Mickey ears, cups, mugs, toys lots of shirts and other clothes. Some of the pricing was crazy for example; “buy 1 get 9 free”. It was an interesting store to see all the over-ordered Disneyland merchandise. There were plenty of toys for the kids to play with while we browsed in the store.

Then we headed south to Oceanside. To get there we took the scenic route down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). This was the way we traveled from Mission Viejo to Carlsbad on my last day in the mission. It was a fun drive. It had been more than thirteen years since I had taken that drive. We saw some cool houses and shops, but the best part was the ocean. I had forgotten how much I loved the smell of the Pacific. Now it being December, there was fog.

So it was not as clear as it would have been in the warmer times of the year.

The drive takes a little longer on PCH than the freeway, but it was worth it.
Then we arrived in Oceanside. We had lunch at Church’s Chicken, since the Alberto’s we were looking for had closed. It was interesting being there after all those years; especially with my wife and kids. I hope to return with them and have more time to spend in the areas I served in while a missionary in southern California. Back to the trip, we went to the beach. By the time we arrived and had lunch we had about an hour at the beach, and then we had to load up to go to Simi Valley. This was Reece’s first time at the ocean. Gabe and Selah had visited the coast when we went and saw Tammy’s brother in Portland. We all had fun walking along the shore looking for seashells and feeling the water under our feet as the tide came in. So much fun that Gabe, Selah, and Reece got more wet that we had planned for and rode in the car for a while with wet clothes.

With no time to spare we loaded up the van and headed north to Simi Valley. We left at about 2:45 PM thinking that we might be able to stop at the hotel in Anaheim and get the kids some dry clothes. Needless to say we did not have time to stop. Afternoon traffic though Los Angeles is a bear. From Oceanside to Anaheim it took a little over an hour (as it should have) but driving through LA north to Simi Valley was the longest part of the drive. We arrived in Simi Valley, CA with about ten minutes to spare.
Now I need to take a minute to sing the praises of Google Maps mobile; this handy little tool on my Palm Centro made it very easy to find our way through the maze of freeways in LA. It actually helped many times to get us from one place to another in Southern CA. It also helped us to see where we were along out route and figure out the time to reaching our destination. Back to our trip, once at Rita’s we had a tour of her home and then went to dinner at Yolanda’s in Simi Valley. After dinner we headed back to our hotel in Anaheim to rest up for our big first day in Disneyland.

This was our route.

The Journey Continues...

Day Two (11/30/08)
Driving to Anaheim

The morning started with a great breakfast prepared by Karen and Dylan; pancakes, eggs and ham. Yummy! Then we took some time to read the Sunday paper and talked some more. The kids were getting antsy (and getting on our nerves) and so after everyone showered we packed the van and headed out about 10:30 AM.

We had spoken to our travel companions Cort, Emily, O’Dell, Carley, Gavin, and Noah and they had left Nampa about 6:00 AM and decided to take the same route that we had taken the day before. So as we departed we knew that we could keep in contact with them through the magic of cell phones. According to Google it was going to take us a little over six hours to get from Sacramento to Anaheim. We thought that we should arrive at our hotel by 5:00 PM. Well the folly in our logic and something that we never talked about while planning our trek was that this weekend that we planned on driving to California was Thanksgiving weekend. That meant that we were traveling on the most traveled weekend of the year. So we had not planned for all of the traffic that we encountered on our drive from Sacramento to Anaheim. It took us until almost 10:00 PM to arrive in Anaheim. Driving through the Central Valley with all the agriculture was great, but the two lanes on our side of the interstate did not accommodate all the traffic and travelers for the weekend. It was bumper to bumper once we got north of Los Angeles until we got into Orange County. Our weary travel companions did not arrive until 11:45 that night, a long day of driving indeed. But at least we were accident free on our drive; unlike others.

Monday, December 15, 2008

California Vacation...The Journey Begins...

California Vacation 2008
Day One (11/29/08)
The Drive to Sacramento

We intended to leave home at 6:00 AM, but really we pulled out of Nampa at about 6:30 AM. Not too bad for three adults and three kids under 7 and under. Tammy, Chris, Clark, Gabe, Selah, and Reece headed out bound for California. Our first destination was Sacramento, CA home of Dylan and Karen McDonald. The drive was pretty uneventful. There was the stop at a gas station in McDermitt that had fresh burritos in the deli case at 7:30 AM and very helpful cashiers. We stopped in Reno, NV (Sparks) for lunch at In & Out Burger. This was the first visit to In-N-Out Burger for everyone but me. They were crazy busy, but we were able to find a table outside and enjoy our fresh cut fries and burgers. This picture does not do it justice, the parking lot was packed. The kids were ready for a stop and so were the adults.

We continued on through Nevada over Donner Pass with perfect weather. I guess those chains that we got at Les Schwab were not needed after all. Better safe than sorry. According to Google Maps would take us about nine hours to get to Dylan and Karen’s home, so we thought that with stops and all we would arrive by 5:00 PM. Nope. We arrived about 3:15 PM Saturday afternoon, which was a little earlier than Dylan and Karen expected. I could tell from the tone of her voice when she called to check our ETA and I told her that we were thirty miles out of Sacramento (according to Highway signs).

We found their house with no problem thanks to Google Maps. They have a really nice house right in Sacramento. Close enough that Dylan even rides his bike to work when he can.

We walked across the street to a school and played a little catch with a couple footballs that Dylan had. It was a great chance to see the neighborhood. Then we moved the car closer to their home. We had a great pizza dinner and then played a rousing game of “Bones”, a spoons- like game created in Nampa. Then of course were the hours of conversation, while trying to keep the kids occupied (thanks to Karen’s “I Spy” books). Then as the night went on we all got drowsy and turned in. It had been a long day for us.

More to come...

Don't think I have forgot about the blog...
Just recovering from a trip to the Magic Kingdom...
Details to come...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving: To be Thankful… What does it mean?

For me looking at all of the blessings that I have in my life and how I am undeserving of them. I have a wonderful wife who loves and supports me. She does a wonderful job raising our kids and she teaches them so much. She is my biggest fan and gives eerily accurate honest criticism. She is so beautiful and talented. I truly “married up”. She is my partner and friend.

I have three great children that I love to play with. I can’t think of a better feeling then returning home after work and seeing them run out the front door to meet me as I pull into the driveway. This never gets old. Even when I try to sneak in they are looking for me. They always have so many things to say and questions to ask and I am their expert. G& S have started using the MacBook more so they ask me how to do things. I am thankful for the chances that I get to steal away with each child and spend alone time with them. I treasure this time with them while they are small (at least Reece is small). I know it won’t last.

I am also thankful for faith. Faith helps me as a father and husband face each day knowing that my family will be safe. I love them all so much (especially my sweetheart, Tammy). I have a wonderful life and a beautiful family. I am extremely blessed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Season is upon us...

With the holiday season upon us I think of all the traditions that families and friends have. It is heart- warming to think of getting together and enjoying this time. Not to get too mushy here is a great SNL holiday clip.... JT is pretty talented.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why we shoot...

David Pogue is a technology columnist for the New York Times. I have mentioned him in this space before and this week his column deserves another mention. But first I want to add my two cents.

Mr. Pogue wrote a column about why we spend countless hours and dollars snapping, taping, shooting and documenting the mundane events that make up our lives. For me the answer is easy; because I need to. It is in my blood. I grew up in a home where we took a lot of pictures and videos of whatever we did. So much so that for fun my brother, our friends and I would video tape ourselves lip syncing in our upstairs rec room. (If these tapes were to ever be found then they would probably be good for blackmail). Another example of our family putting it all on video would be Christmas morning. My Dad would set up the tripod for the video camera and let it just record it all. All the conversations, the bickering about whose turn it was to pass out presents or open a present. We have it all on tape; about 30 years worth.

When my brother and I went to the Grand Canyon with our Grandmother in 1990 we took our big VHS video camera to document the trip. Talk about scenery, too bad we really didn't think about narration...But you can sure see the canyon. I was o involved in getting the adventure filmed that when I lost my footing on a path near the canyon and ripped eight stitches out of my right knee, it was due to the fact that I was filming the view from the canyon rim. (That was not a pleasant drive back to Idaho, since the wound had to heal open and I couldn't bend my knee at all).

Now as a father I will admit I am not as bad as my father was...but I do have quite a few pictures on our MacBook. I take full responsibility. This is the reason that in the spring I hope to install a larger hard drive. Our photo library takes over 7gb of space. That is after archiving photos that are pre-2005. There are many photos. The goal is to eventually upload them and create hardbound books about each of the kids. But for now they are preserved in iPhoto. I know that I am not the only one that does this. It is not that I hope that my kids or friends will be famous or that I will be able to sell the pictures or movies to "E!". It is that when I look back as an old man and share stories with my great-grandchildren I want to be able to show them how happy there family is and has been. How blessed we are. The good stock they come from. So that they know what kind of legacy they should leave for thier great-granchildren.

This is my favorite reader response:
“ Were it not for the video shown to me on our first date, I probably would not be in this 22-year-old marriage of mine. When we sat down to see his family video, I watched my husband run around in the woods playing Indian at the age of 7; I saw his family and the house where he was born and raised. In that half hour of our first date, I fell in love with the boy in the man I married. Viewing that video told me all I wanted to know; 
I still see the boy in his now 80-year-old self.”

Here is the link to the story from David Pogue.

Why we shoot home videos

Responses to Why we shoot

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Respect for all...

Students chant 'Assassinate Obama' on school bus

I share this so that we all can see how important it is to share with our children the respect that our elected officials deserve. As with the gentleman in the story I don't think that most Idahoans are racists, but even a joke heard by a child can be taken out of context. Threats to the President of the United States are against the law...

§ 871. Threats against President and successors to the Presidency

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) The terms “President-elect” and “Vice President-elect” as used in this section shall mean such persons as are the apparent successful candidates for the offices of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained from the results of the general elections held to determine the electors of President and Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 1 and 2. The phrase “other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President” as used in this section shall mean the person next in the order of succession to act as President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 19 and 20.


REXBURG - Controversial words spoken by kids on a school bus have some Madison County parents concerned.

Matthew Whoolery and his wife aren't blaming the school district for what happened on the bus but they do think all parents need to be careful about what they say and teach their children.

Whoolery and his wife couldn't believe it when their second and third graders got off the bus last week and told them what other students were saying.

"They just hadn't heard anything like this before," said Whoolery. "They were chanting on the bus, 'Assassinate Obama. Assassinate Obama.' Then adding in a name sometimes of a classmate on the bus, 'Assassinate Obama and Kate.'"

The Whoolery's explained to their kids what assassinate means then contacted the school about what was happening.

"I think the thing that struck us was just like, 'Where did they get the word and why would they put that word and that person together?'" said Whoolery.

It's not that the Whoolery's are big Obama fans they just don't like people joking about a serious matter concerning any leader of the country.

"I'm assuming if it were, 'Assassinate McCain' you'd feel the same way?" asked reporter Nate Eaton.

"No question about it," replied Whoolery.

After the incident, the Madison School district superintendent sent an email to all teachers, principals, and bus drivers saying that all students should show proper respect for elected officials.

If a student does say something inappropriate, the adult is to calm them down and tell them the behavior is unacceptable.

"I don't think that the majority of people in Rexburg have extreme ideas like that but we were just surprised that it would go that far," said Whoolery.

The Whoolery's moved to Rexburg a year ago. They came from the Middle East where they lived for three years.

In all their time living there, they never heard any comments similar to these about any leaders there or here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Day to Remember...

Today is Veterans day. As an adult I don't have an assembly to go to this morning to honor those who have served our great nation. I don't have a moment of solidarity with my fellow students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. In my heart I can hold dear the memories of those who served. Of Grandpa Crummett and Grandpa Peterson who both served at Farragut Naval Base (although at different times). Of the brother who made the journey across the nation to Arlington National Cemetery to see the remains of a beloved sibling laid to rest. There are many who have served and do serve that deserve our appreciation today and everyday. We are the nation we are because of the sacrifice they made. If you have the chance always, thank a Vet!

Here is the story of the first Idahoan to receive the medal of honor.
Here is the Wikipedia article.


Rank and Organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company M, 167th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and Date: Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, 16 October 1918. Entered Service At: Sugar City, Idaho. Born: 17 May 1898, Sharon, Idaho. G. O. No.: 1 18, W .D., 1918.

On the afternoon of 16 October 1918, when the Cote-de-Chatillion had just been gained after bitter fighting and the summit of that strong bulwark in the Kriemhilde Stellung was being organized, Pvt. Neibaur was sent out on patrol with his automatic rifle squad to enfilade enemy machinegun nests. As he gained the ridge he set up his automatic rifle and was directly thereafter wounded in both legs by fire from a hostile machinegun on his flank. The advance wave of the enemy troops, counterattacking, had about gained the ridge, and although practically cut off and surrounded, the remainder of his detachment being killed or wounded, this gallant soldier kept his automatic rifle in operation to such effect that by his own efforts and by fire from the skirmish line of his company, at least 100 yards in his rear, the attack was checked. The enemy wave being halted and Iying prone, 4 of the enemy attacked Pvt. Neibaur at close quarters. These he killed. He then moved alone among the enemy lying on the ground about him, in the midst of the fire from his own lines, and by coolness and gallantry captured 11 prisoners at the point of his pistol and, although painfully wounded, brought them back to our lines. The counterattack in full force was arrested to a large extent by the single efforts of this soldier, whose heroic exploits took place against the skyline in full view of his entire battalion.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Presidential History!

Tonight history was made. No matter how you voted it was an historic night (John McCain even said so). The election is over. The people have spoke. Those who did not prevail it is time to put hurt feelings aside and come together with our new President. For those who have said they would move out of the country if Obama won; I hope you don't. We are "One Nation Under God".

Congratulations President-Elect Obama!

Election Memories

I turned eighteen May 01, 1992. The Presidential Primary election season was already in full swing and I was a senior in high school. I will admit that I was not too involved in politics at that time. I was looking forward to voting in the general election in November 1992.

In the fall of 1992 I was a freshman at Ricks College in Rexburg, ID. Now I grew up in Idaho, but Eastern Idaho and Southwest Idaho are like, well Oregon and Utah. I grew up in as much of an urban area as possible in an agricultural state. Urban enough that I did not see a potato truck until I lived in Rexburg. I lived in an apartment off campus, not the dorms. My five other roommates were all freshmen, like me. I knew one of them before moving in, my friend Dylan McDonald. He and I have been friends since his mom taught me kindergarten.

Growing up my Dad was a teacher and my mother a nurse. Dylan's parents were both teachers. So needless to say we had some mid to left leaning ways in our households. Now that is not that uncommon. In Idaho in 1990 the legislature was split almost 50/50 Democrat and Republican. But in Rexburg things are a bit more red, especially at Ricks College.

Anyway back to the election. Since we were living away from home our parents helped Dylan and I get absentee ballots. So we voted a few days before the election and then mailed in our ballots. Our roommates three from California and one from Kentucky voted locally. They had to register as residents. But that was not a big deal as they were not living with their parents and had moved out. (Idaho did not have same day registration until 1994) So we all voted.

Election night we did what many people did we watched the election results on TV. As the returns came in you could tell with each announcement of a winner how each roommate had voted. In our apartment we were really divided along economic lines. See the roommates from California were from a higher tax bracket then the roommate from Kentucky, Dylan and myself. So as it became clearer and clearer that Bill Clinton was going to win there was a little excitement from us. I remember that at the end of the night we watched MTV as they had a "Rock The Vote" party with many performers and the President-Elect.

This was my first experience voting in a Presidential election. For me it is like a New Year's Day bowl game to see how the election turns out and watch the activity as the returns come in. Even if my candidate does not win it is great to see everyone take part in the democratic process.

Election Day!

Remember there are some who do not want you to vote!

Get your results here! You can come back and check all night for updates.


If you don't know on the picture below you Google can help you find the location.

Monday, November 03, 2008

You need to know the Truth!

Tomorrow is Election Day! It is important to know the truth. There have been many half-truths and misrepresentations from all sides. ACORN has been one that has come up a lot. One thing to know is that ACORN is not what FOX News says.

Here is a clip about ACORN:

Here is info on John McCain and ACORN...He was a speaker at one of their conferences.

Sen. McCain Stood With ACORN Rally In 2006

13 Oct 2008 09:28 pm

A goldfish's lifetime ago, Sen. John McCain was happy to accept the honors and acclamation of the Service Employees International Union, People for the American Way, UNITE HERE -- and ACORN. Here he is, on Feb. 20, 2006, telling immigration rights activists at a rally in Miami that they "are what makes America special." ACORN co-sponsored the rally, and its volunteers surround McCain, and while there's no evidence that McCain ever formally teamed with the group, the video serves as a reminder that he did not mind being associated with them when the politics of the moment were different. (The video clip was e-mailed to this column by a Democrat who supports Barack Obama.)

McCain had no trouble fraternizing with ACORN in 2006 when their political interests coincided with his. Now, his campaign is writing e-mails in his name bashing ACORN as a tool of the Obama machine.

"We need your help to ensure a fair and honest election. Already we have seen nationwide voter registration fraud by ACORN - a group closely linked to Barack Obama," one e-mail from "The McCain Legal Team" says.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Seven years...

Seven years...that is a long time. Seven years ago something happened that changed life as we know it. It changed the way that people interact with one anther and how families live. Seven years ago life was different. Then it happened. Apple brought out the game-changer.
Apple introduced the first-generation iPod on October 23, 2001. The first iPod had a black and white screen and featured a 5 GB hard drive capable of storing 1,000 songs encoded using MP3 and was priced at US$399. Among the iPod's innovations were its small size, achieved using a 1.8" hard drive, whereas its competitors were using 2.5" hard drives at the time, and its easy-to-use navigation, which was controlled using a mechanical scroll wheel, a center select button, and 4 auxiliary buttons around the wheel. The iPod had a rated battery life of 12 hours.
(source: Wikipedia)

Hard to believe that the iPod has been around for seven years. Now we have podcasting, iPod formatted movies and even iPod games. It has changed how people listen to everything. Too busy to watch the news or listen to it on NPR, there is a podcast that you can download automatically to your iPod to listen to on your commute.

I use my iPod all the time. I listen when I drive, when I mow the lawn everything. But I always have. I had a Walkman that I used from Junior High through High School. I had a new aiwa version that I used on my mission. These were FM/AM cassette players. I would listen all the time when I was walking form place to place or doing menial tasks at home. I would always have one ear occupied with the music. I remember listening to ManĂ¡ while writing letters to my family on p-day with one ear on and one ear off.

The iPod was the natural transition. I got an iPod 3rd generation (white 15gb) in February 2004, just this past year I got a a 5th generation (black 30gb). For Christmas last year we got the older kids iPod shuffles (1gb). it is an iPod world, we just live in it.

Steve Jobs introducing the iPod.

First iPod commercial.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Factcheck Friday! The End Is Near!

Only four more days and it will be over (for a few months). Here is the latest update from to help clear the misconceptions and half-truths.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spread the wealth...

I have been doing some reading and it is interesting that there has been a lot of talk about "spreading the wealth". I guess this means that you would take money from the wealthy and redistribute it to the lower income level of the population. This has been a thought of the federal government for a long time. Here are two examples of this thought, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. The two big socialists (as you know).

Teddy Roosevelt was for a progressive tax system. That means that the higher your income, the higher percentage of tax you would pay. Theodore Roosevelt championed the idea that the rich should not only pay more money but a higher rate, arguing explicitly that it contradicted the spirit of socialism. (source:

Ronald Reagan helped promote one of the most widely used tools of redistribution of wealth, the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The United States federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) is a refundable tax credit. For tax year 2007, a claimant with one qualifying child can receive a maximum credit of $2,853. For two or more qualifying children, the maximum credit is $4,716. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings can also claim a child as their qualifying child provided they shared residence with the child for more than six months of the tax year. However, in tie-breaker situations in which more than one filer claims the same child, priority will be given to the parent. A foster child also counts provided the child has been officially placed by an agency or court. There is a much more modest EIC for persons and couples without children that reaches a maximum of $428.[1] (Source: Wikepedia)

Enacted in 1975, the initially modest EIC has been expanded by tax legislation on a number of occasions, including the more widely-publicized Reagan EIC expansion of 1986. Many people have used this to better their lives.

Neither of these two past presidents were socialists. Nor are either of the current presidential candidates.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Funny Debate re-mix

If you are sick and tired of the this!

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

I want my MTV...

I read this morning on one of the Tech Blogs that I read regularly, Gizmodo that MTV has a new online offering. I grew up in the 1980's. I remember when the "M" in MTV stood for music. I remember rushing home from school and turning on Dial MTV with Adam Curry to see what video was on top for the day. MTV has returned to the music...(at least online). MTV has a new web offering you can watch all the videos you grew up with. MTV has made it's entire library of videos available. So you can watch that NKOTB video you have been longing for.

Here is a taste.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Information on the Financial Crisis...

In the past few months people have been throwing blame left and right about who did what to cause the situation we are in. It is a complicated situation with many sources of responsibility. I don't pretend to know what it all means, but if you have never heard of a "Credit Default Swap" then this information is for you.

Here are two stories from "This American Life" about the credit crisis.

Story #1
Click Here

Update: Story #2
Click Here

Here is a story from "60 Minutes".

Friday, October 24, 2008

Factcheck Friday!

It's Friday again. Time to get our fill of accurate information from the gang at Do your research, fight the smears and learn the truth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Had to share...

There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation – we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Virginia and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

We have always been at our best when we've had leadership that called us to look past our differences and come together as one nation, as one people; leadership that rallied this entire country to a common purpose – to a higher purpose. And I am running for President of the United States of America because that is the country we need to be right now.

This country and the dream it represents are being tested in a way that we haven't seen in nearly a century. And future generations will judge ours by how we respond to this test. Will they say that this was a time when America lost its way and its purpose? When we allowed the same divisions and fear tactics and our own petty differences to plunge this country into a dark and painful recession?

Or will they say that this was another one of those moments when America overcame? When we battled back from adversity by recognizing that common stake that we have in each other's success?

This is one of those moments. I realize you're cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you're disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what's been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe – to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together.

Who is this quote from?
If you think you know put it in the comments.

Fashion Statement...

It has come out in the press recently that like John Edwards, the McCain-Palin campaign spend an exorbitant amount on fashion. This time it was not a haircut, but a wardrobe. In reading about this and other election news I found this:

(Look at his shoes)

Here is the quote from the picture:
"Senator Obama was doing press interviews by telephone in a holding room between events. Sometime later as he was getting ready to begin his event, he asked me if I was photographing his shoes. When I said yes, he told me that he had already had them resoled once since he entered the race a year earlier. Providence, R.I., 3/1/2008."

My Dad used to have shoes like this. I remember him wearing them to church every week.

I found this from this site Here is the link to the post. Here is the text of the post.
With all the controversy over Joe the Plumber and the ability to relate to the ‘average’ American, I was personally refreshed from this set of photographs. Obama, to me, is a man that just does what he should. He loves his country like anyone else. He loves the people he meets as much, if not more than his opponents. But in the end, I see a man who is well educated in both things like the academics of constitutional law and the interpersonal intelligence that any leader of our country needs to have. Beyond just being a guy I’d like to go get a beer with (non-alcoholic of course!, this is BYU), he is someone I can personally trust to run my country.

Here is a link to more candid pictures of candidate Obama.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If you have ever been frustrated by Fox News then Keith Olbermann is for you. Here is a clip from a recent show about the "robo-calls" from the presidential race.

I am America...We are America together.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all."

The Star-Spangled Banner Lyrics

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I am America. I am a husband and a father. I love my family. I work to provide for my family. I want my children to have a better life than I, as my father before me. I am an Eagle Scout. I pray daily. I am a church going person. I attend church most Sundays. I believe in agency for all men as given by God. I believe in personal responsibility and I believe in being my brothers keeper and helping others; these ideas are not mutually exclusive. I have lived in large cities. I have lived in small towns.I am America. I love America. I am Pro-America. We don't have to agree. We don't have to be the same. We don't have to like the same teams. We can still be friends. We don't all have to be the same, that is not America. We are America. You and me. Where we come from where we have been. Big City Small Town. Difference is what makes us great. I use a Mac; you a PC. We are America.
Together America.

For more from me see...

Monday, October 20, 2008

America is my iPod

I am making a new commitment not to keep up on the blog, I do that already. I want to keep up by actually writing things with substance. Currently the Presidential election is everywhere, so it is hard to not think about it (at least for me). It frustrates me that we all seem so polarized. When I know that people are not that way. There is a lot of common ground that people have. In the past that was something that brought people together not something hidden allowing only differences to be seen. As Americans we used to embrace our differences, doing that gives us strength. This was not intended to be political, so to the point. On my way to work this morning I was listening to my iPod (through my stereo) as usual and I listened to how different the songs were that played. First was "I am a Rock" by Simon and Garfunkel, then was "My Maria" by Brooks and Dunn, then "No Excuses" by Alice in Chains and finally "Trouble Me" by 10,000 Maniacs. These are all very different songs by very different artists.

"I am a Rock", reminds me of growing up. My dad had an 8-Track of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits. I still like that song and it amazes me that it was released in 1966. I don't have too many songs that were released in 1966 on my iPod. Simon and Garfunkel are definitely a unique sound and my have to grow on some people.

"My Maria", I started listening to some country music in high school. I had a friend who was a country fan and I wanted to broaden my musical horizons to include something that she liked (after we went out and I realized that she had gone out of her way to do the same for me). There are other country artists that I like and listen to that will appear on these posts from time to time (after all I am from Idaho!).

"No Excuses", when I was serving as a missionary in the California Carlsbad Mission I knew people that were into a music that I had not really got into in high school, alternative rock. I loved modern rock. The Smiths, New Order, Erasure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys; I was fluent in all of these. But there was a new sound that was a little more edgy and Alice in Chains had some tracks that to this day I still enjoy. "No Excuses" is one of them.

"Trouble Me", this song falls into the preiviously mentioned 'modern rock' genre. 10,000 Maniacs are a group that I have enjoyed since junior high. This is a very relaxing track that reminds me of when my wife and I were dating.

All of these songs are unique and different. In the coming months I will look at the different tracks that my iPod groups together and the pattern they weave in my life.

Different is good. We are all different.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Use your own mind to make decisions based on Fact and Truth...not fear and hatemongering

Be informed. Don't listen only to partisan rhetoric. Use your mind and intellect to investigate the truth. Use REAL sources not just the media. On this blog I have shared a lot if information that I received from This is a non-partisan group. They do not support any political candidate or party. is a good resource for accurate information without any agenda. Do not be like some of the people in the following clip...

Third and Final Presidential Debate mis-speaks debunked

Here it is, time for Emi Kolawole and the crew from to set the record straight;even about Joe the plumber.

FactChecking Debate No. 3

Time to sort out truth from fiction. Here is the truth from the non-partisan

FactChecking Debate No. 3

Sorting out fact and fiction in the presidential candidates' final debate.

Spin and hype were apparent, once again, at the third and final debate between McCain and Obama:
  • McCain claimed the liberal group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.” He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.
  • McCain said “Joe the plumber” faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers.
  • Obama repeated a dubious claim that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.
  • McCain claimed that Obama’s real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that.
  • Obama incorrectly claimed all of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week, but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher percentage of attack ads than McCain.

  • McCain described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list.
  • Obama strained to portray himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.
For details on these and other misleading claims, please read on to the Analysis section.

Idaho Politician in the News Again!!!

Look what I found at the unequivocal notion...

From Politico/ source:

October 15, 2008
Categories: Idaho

Sali gives opponent's spokesman bunny ears

You can't make this stuff up. During a local television interview with the spokesman for Democrat Walt Minnick, Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) and his staff were trying to disrupt the interview by making faces and giving the flak bunny ears.


Congressman Bill Sali and his campaign staff disrupted a NewsChannel 7 reporter and a representative for his opponent during an interview Tuesday in Downtown Boise.

KTVB reporter Ysabel Bilbao was interviewing Walt Minnick's campaign director John Foster Wednesday afternoon. During the interview, someone loudly yelled and was laughing during the interview at the Grove plaza.

Bilbao and Foster initially ignored the intrusion, but quickly noticed the source of the heckling -- Sali and members of his staff.
Foster stopped the interview and noted the commotion.

“I am sorry I was a little bit distracted,” Foster said. “I think at some point you even have to question his maturity.”
Foster said he saw Sali making faces at him and holding up “bunny ears.”

By Josh Kraushaar 10:25 PM


Another story from Daily Kos

ID-01: Idaho, We Have to Talk

Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 09:49:16 AM PDT

Don't make me come back there. You know I love you. You know you'll always be my home. But what is it about whackos that just so enamors you? This is what you chose to send to DC:

KTVB reporter Ysabel Bilbao was interviewing Walt Minnick's campaign director John Foster Wednesday afternoon. During the interview, someone loudly yelled and was laughing during the interview at the Grove plaza.

Bilbao and Foster initially ignored the intrusion, but quickly noticed the source of the heckling -- Sali and members of his staff.

Is that really how you want your Congressman to behave? Are you really okay with that?

Now I know you love your characters, from Helen Chenoweth and her canned salmon to George Hansen, almost reelected just before he was sent to prison. Is it that you have so much disdain for government that sending these people who are incapable of anything but stupid stunts and grandstanding you're making some kind of nose-thumbing statement? Don't even make me talk about Larry Craig.

You do realize that you're paying for it, right? You're paying for it by having not only a laughingstock representing you, but in his complete inability to actually do anything of substance to help the state.

But you're paying for him, too, all of you who hate having to see any of your hard-earned dollars going to the government. Your taxes are not only paying him to serve in Congress, but paying for his campaign, too.

Three members of Idaho Rep. Bill Sali's congressional staff are also now campaigning for his reelection, with at least two of them still drawing some kind of government salary.

An online Sali campaign roster, stamped "completely confidential," lists Wayne Hoffman, Tina Jacobson and Jonathan Parker, respectively, as campaign media manager, North Idaho campaign director and campaign strategist.

Meanwhile, on the congressional salary database Legistorm, the same three individuals are shown to have pulled down federal salaries through the reporting period ending in June (the latest available).

It is not illegal for congressional staff members to "donate" their time to reelection campaigns. But House rules are clear that any campaign work should either be done on the staff member's "own time" unless the staffer takes a leave of absence or reduces his or her work to half-time status.

That campaign page has since been taken down, but New West has a screen shot of it.

That means he's stealing from you, Idaho. Are you really going to put up with that?

Time and time again, you throw over the tradition of electing real statesman--William Borah, Cece Andrus, Frank Church--to send in the clowns. Why? These are exceedingly serious times. You don't have to look any farther for proof than at Micron, of your largest employers and leading businesses. It's struggling, having to lay off 1,500 workers--1,500! Do you think Silly Bill Sali is going to be able to do a damned thing to help those people? To do anything to position Idaho for the financial storms that are going to keep coming?

Please, people, for once think about doing what's best for the state. And for all you people like me, you Idaho expats, send some money home, help the Idaho Dems get the word out to early voters about their choices this election. And talk to your friends and family back home. Idaho deserves so much better.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Factcheck Friday...NOT!.

No it is not Friday, just an update from the crew at to clarify some points from the Second Presidential Debate last night. Here it is...go ahead get your fix.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Factcheck Friday...The Veep Edition

Last night was the VP debate and neither candidate fell on their face. But each of them had their own exaggerations and misleading statements. The crew at straighten it out for us.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boise State Game....

Tammy and I had the opportunity to attend the Boise State v. Louisiana Tech football game on Oct 1st. It was fun. Tammy came and picked me up from work about 3:00 PM. Then we headed over to the stadium to find parking. She did a great job we found a good spot and we did not have to pay to park (that annoys more than anything- you pay for an event and then you have to pay to park (how are you supposed to get the the event?)). Then we had to pick up an orange Boise State shirt (we were sitting in an orange section).

After browsing around the BroncoShop, we still had about 30 minutes before they were letting people into the stadium so we went to "Broncoville". They open up the practice field for kids to play on before the game and they have tables and chairs and jump houses and lots of fun stuff. Plus, the kids get to play where the team practices. We took advantage of the table and chairs and relaxed as they showed a replay of the Boise State v. Oregon game.

Then we made our way up to our seats. The tickets were my dads. He has season tickets in section 109 row r, first two seats on the isle. He had seats for years up in the nose-bleed section, but through trading up he has been able to get these seats more centered in the field. It was a lot of fun. Boise State handily defeated LA Tech 38-3. Kudos to the defense for not allowing any touchdowns. We had a great time. Tammy and her brother Tim were even texting to one another across the stadium.

It was a fun date. I love going to the games with Tammy. We reminisced about going to the games when I was going to Boise State and we lived on campus. We used to walk to the games from our apartment (no parking issues then). We have been to many games together; with many more to come.


Cort, Emily and Gavin went to the game and were able to sit in the "Bronco Bunch" area down near the field. Emily's brother Doug won tickets through Idaho Elks so they were very close to the south end zone. Here are a few shots of Cort on the sidelines.